SCRANTON — More National Guard troops from the 55th Armor Brigade returned home Tuesday morning.
About 300 from across northeastern and central Pennsylvania are returning from about a one-year deployment to Kuwait.
Many of those troops returned to the armory in Scranton Tuesday morning.
About 100 are expected to be arriving later in the day to see their families for the first time in a little less than a year.
Earlier in the day about 50 soldiers unloaded off buses and rushed to their loved ones after serving overseas, helping with security operations in Kuwait.
“It feels great to be home, you know four separate deployments it doesn’t necessarily get any easier,” said SSgt Walter Bares.
Soldiers from the 109th Infantry rushed to hug their wives, fiancées, moms and dads, overwhelmed with relief that their loved one is now safe.
“Very excited, yes and joy of course. We’ve been through this four times and it doesn’t get better. But this is a great day, a wonderful day,” said Gail Barnes.
Emily Galligher, age 7, made a sign for her cousin, 1st Lt. Corey Carr.
“I was afraid he would get hurt,” Emily said.
The soldiers returning home in Scranton have been deployed since last October, and now after a long time overseas they say they only have one mission in mind.
“I’ve got to check the checklist, I know Disney’s definitely on the thing in the next couple of weeks and just going to take time and enjoy the family,” said Sgt 1st Class David Dunton of Carbondale.
Dunton’s wife Rebecca says her two kids missed their dad but they’ve worked hard to support him from thousands of miles away.
“Kept busy, had a countdown of when he was coming home, and just stuck with it.”
And the soldiers returning home from Kuwait say they can’t express enough thanks for the support and love welcoming them back home.
“Just glad to be home, been thinking about this day for the last 11 months, and to see the family and the support from the community, it’s been great.”
This is the third wave of soldiers returning home from the 55th Armor Brigade.
Several more National Guard troops are expected to be on their way back home to northeastern and central Pennsylvania over the next few months.